My family and I live in Long Island, New York, and over the last 17 years, my husband and I have lived in 4 different countries and traveled with our children to Australia, Asia, and Europe. We have cruised before in the Caribbean, and through Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam. Our children are now 11 and 8, and are very well traveled, having been to Iceland, Spain, Germany, Austria, the above-mentioned places in Asia and Australia, and all over the United States. With this trip, they can now add South America to their list of travel experiences.
When we arrived in South America, we did some pre-cruise traveling, but stayed the night before the cruise at the Sheraton WTC in Sao Paulo. The hotel is attached to a mall and a lovely food court with many restaurants is directly accessible from the lobby.
After being charged very high prices from hotel pick up services, friend of ours recommended Evolution Taxi Services. Their prices were almost half of the hotels, and even though the embarkation pier in Santos is very hard to find, the driver was very good-natured about finding it, and very excited to have gotten us their in plenty of time to go through the boarding process.
As stated, we were in an Owner's Suite. All of these suites are named after famous artists. Ours was the Matisse Suite. We had a similar suite on our Asia cruise on the Legends of the Sea (same class as the Spendour). The suite is very large, double the size of a regular state room with an over-sized balcony with two lounge chairs. There are two televisions in the Suite, one in the bedroom and the other in the separate living area. The separate living area had a pull out couch, on which our children slept comfortable. The bathroom as a bidet to accompany the toilet, a stand alone shower, a Jacuzzi tub, and a double sink with medicine cabinets. The bedroom contained a king size bed with two nights stands, a dresser, a vanity with a large mirror with a cabinet behind it, and a small magnifying mirror. It also had a large 4 drawer dresser, 16 with additional drawers located throughout the cabin. The closet was double wide with plenty of hangers. The only problem we had with the suite is that it was located under the main Windjammer buffet dining room, and set up of the Windjammer began in the middle of the night. There was a lot of things rolling, slamming and banging over our heads from very early in the morning, around 4:00 am. We questioned why they would located the better cabins below such a noisy area. However, it in no way took away from our experience, other than a little loss of sleep. The room also was equipped with an ipad that had all of the daily cruise activities on it, along with any information you may need.
On the first day we stayed on the boat into the evening took the night tour to the Tango Show offered. The show was awesome, however, the food included was near inedible. We were very disappointed in the "Tourist Trap" type cuisine, but very happy with the show.
On the second day, we took the city tour. It visited Eva Perone's grave, which was very interesting, lots of local building and markets, etc. We had a great time, but, having learned, we skipped the lunch included and found our own place. We had a great lunch at a real Argentinian steak place which had the best buffet I've ever had and all the meat you could eat (and brick oven pizzas)
We again, chose the city tour. This tour was quick, as they do not dock for long. We saw some interesting things, but the best was not in the tour. When you get off the bus at the pier they have a "Port Market" with tons of meat restaurants. We chose one and had the best mean that we had had on the whole trip. It was a true local experience and less than 2 minute walk from the ship.